There is no recorded family history of the Hebrew tribe other than the one
we find in the scriptures. No other descendent of Noah... from the other
branches of this tribe... relates the story of their family, nor tells us about
the dispersion of these tribes as they settled throughout the world.
No other descendent kept the line of genealogy from one chieftain
to the next.
It would seem that history-keeping was singularly the duty of the line of
the chiefs of the tribe... who were the inheritors...
the judges... the deciders... the omnipotent leaders.
If it's true that Joseph set about to gather all that he could find of his tribe's
history in order to document and preserve it... then this could be one
explanation of why Genesis has so many pieces. Esau's family history
was even put into the text. Nevertheless, it is most certain that Jacob
inherited a written record of his ancestors. At some point the genealogy
and surely even some of the stories were written down. There could be
no other way to remember so much information and still trust its accuracy.
And, because this history was written down in order to pass it along for
many generations... it could only have been written on something quite
permanent... something like stone or clay tablets.
These were most likely clay which could have been easily inscribed with
an instrument, rather than stone that must be artistically chiseled. These
tablets, then, would have been passed from chieftain to chieftain.
These would be the most precious and protected possession of this tribe.
Upon considering "stone tablets" as the vehicle for the passing along of
the tribe's history... it is hard to ignore the fact that it is said that the law
of Moses was written on two stone tablets. But... on close inspection...
it is not exactly clear... what was really written on those tablets.
See the essay:
"The Ten Commandments"
Exodus 20:18 As the story is told... ten laws were spoken by God
directly to the people. But they became so terrified that they called up to
Moses to speak for God lest they die. God then continues his imparting of
many more laws to Moses, which Moses was to relate to the people. Exodus
says that it was Moses who wrote the set of laws that contained
what we now know as the ten first commandments.
Ex.20:1 -- (lists the first ten laws) and then continues for three more
chapters of laws
Ex.24:4 -- "And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord."
It was on Moses' next trip up the mountain that the stone tablets
were given to him. This is the same time that the instructions for the
ark of the covenant and the tabernacle were given.
Ten is an odd number of laws to have been said to be written in stone,
when there were really many more laws given to Moses... and when
the two tablets were also described as "having writing on both sides."
Ex.32:15 -- "And Moses turned and went down from the mount,
and the two tablets of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were
written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other side were
It is at Deuteronomy 10:4, in what is a "re-writing" of the story
of Exodus... that scripture specifically names "The Ten Commandments"
as the only laws that were written on the tablets. This is not so specified in
the original writing of the story.
However, the number "ten" IS of interest here. The
number "ten" emerges elsewhere and in a possible conjunction with
other "stone tablets."
There were ten generations from Adam to Noah,
and there were ten generations from Noah to Abraham.
Two tablets of laws... two sets of ten generations. An odd coincidence.
See: Chart of the Clan Chiefs
The importance of "stone" tablets takes on new meaning when there is a
possiblity that the original history of the tribe of Adam... written
by the ancient patriarchs of the tribe... was recorded and still may exist
somewhere in stone. And to add even more curiousity to this possibility...
the same word is used for Noah's "ark"... the "ark" of Moses...
and the "ark" of the covenant.
Surely Joseph considered the chance that family stories might be excerpted
or altered as they were passed down to future generations, especially if
they were in a form that required the copying of long strings of information.
And the loss or destruction of the precious original tablets through hazard
or war was a real possibility. And so the preserving and safe-keeping of
the original record would have been very important.
Joseph wouldn't have passed down the original stone tablets. He would
have made a copy of them... which, according to the scriptures... also
happened to the tablets of Moses.
It makes more sense for such precious tablets as the original history
to be locked up and safe-guarded in a secure "ark"... than it does for a
record of the laws that the people needed at hand... laws that they needed
to see and to live by... to be locked away in a place that could not be
It can be stated that this tribe of Adam was a royal line... of power and
wealth... because the record of chieftains was kept so diligently. Noah
surely was wealthy before he built the ark. This massive boat-building
project required supplies and technical knowledge. Collecting animals
would also require knowledge and be very time-consuming. Noah may have built the ark, but it seems more likely that it was
built like you or I would build a house... we would hire someone to do it.
We are given various clues that Abram was a "king." When Abram
migrated from Ur, he was not a poor shepherd. He came to Canaan
with a household numbering in the many hundreds. We can deduce
this because we are told Abram's age when he entered Canaan, and
later when Ishmael was born.
Scripture also says that Abram was a very wealthy man.
12:4 -- "And Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed
out of Haran."
14:14 -- "And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive,
he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and
eighteen and pursued them unto Dan."
16:16 -- "And Abram was fourscore and six years old when Hagar bore
13:2 -- "And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold."
We also know that Abram had married a woman of presence and beauty...
Sarah. Kings sought out her beauty. Because of the drought in Canaan
when Abram first arrived there, he kept moving on to Egypt. Once there,
he protected himself by claiming that Sarah was his sister... but the king
heard of her beauty, took her into his house, and then made plans to marry
her. Sarah had to reveal the truth. Many herds had been given to Abram
as Sarah's "brother," but Pharaoh allowed him to keep them and to leave
Egypt peacefully... enriching him even moreso. It may also be true that
a friendship was formed between Abraham and the king of Egypt.
14:1 The men who had made war with the cities of Canaan
and kidnapped Lot's family were called "kings." These "kings" had defeated
the "kings" of those cities. When Abram chased them to rescue Lot,
he defeated them and drove them away. And so... for all intents
and purposes, Abram had become the most powerful "king" in all the
While creating a chart of the named chieftains of the tribe of Adam, and
doing the math on the ages given in the scriptures... it became apparent
that Noah was still alive until Abram was 55.
Chart of Chiefs-Abram
A connection, then, can be made directly to Abram... to his father Terah's
intent to go to Canaan... and to the continued directive to go to the land
of Canaan... as possibly originating from Noah. Noah had spoken a
curse against the son of his son, Ham... Canaan.
9:24 -- "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger
son (Ham) had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant
of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the
Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant."
10:15-19 -- "And Canaan begot Sidon, his firstborn, and Heth, And
the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, and the Hivite, and the
Arkite, and the Sinite, and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the
Hamathite: and afterward were the familes of the Canaanites spread
abroad. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest
to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom and Gomorrah, and
Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha."
It is not difficult then, to conclude that Abram was fulfilling a directive
of Noah... the chieftain... the king and the judge of the tribe. If Noah's
words were to mean anything... if his statements and judgments were
to mean anything... his judgment upon Ham's son, Canaan, needed to
be fulfilled. The land of "Canaan" had been settled by Canaan's tribe.
Abram would take power over it and inherit it to his own sons... in the
name of the legacy of Adam.
Abram... it could well be said... was fulfilling Noah's direct order.
He inherited kingship... he also inherited wealth... and he became
"as Noah" and "as Adam" in the continuity of the tribe
of Adam. Word... was truth.
And... just what was this "tribe of Adam"?
Adam's tribe originated in Mesopotamia... in the "garden of Eden."
From these descriptions, the location appears to be in the Ararat
Mountains or plateau... at the headwaters of four rivers. The author
of Genesis gives directions to its location. And, upon leaving Eden,
they must have gone East.
2:10 -- "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from
thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the
first is Pison; that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah,
where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium
and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the
same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia."
3:24 -- "And he [God] placed at the east of the garden of Eden
Cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep
the way of the tree of life."
Outside of Eden where the rivers parted... there was good gold and
precious stones. Now... gold that is washed down in rivers often
comes from a "source" or a motherlode... and settles at the forks of
streams. This makes Eden a candidate for being such a source.
But... the garden east was blocked so they could not return...
or no one could return.
It would make an interesting story if Eden was the location of a
motherlode of gold. And to make the story fit the scenerio... perhaps
its location was hidden so that no one could find it. Too much gold
would only mean trouble... but just enough gold and stones to
sustain them would be much better. But, this study will not explore
this scenerio further.
Moses was told that it was God's intention for the tribe of Israel to become
priests among nations.
Exodus 19:5 -- "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep
my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people:
for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,
and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shall speak unto
the children of Israel."
Such a plan isn't inconsistent with their beginnings... that of mankind
living in a perfect garden close to God. That story is a picture
of learning about the world... knowing God... and knowing what
perfection would be. It is also a picture of realizing that they were
higher than the other creatures... they were creatures of intelligence...
"made in the image of God." This same term was used to refer to Seth,
when he was born to Adam... "in his image." 5:3
Adam and Eve's directive was just to multiply and to be masters
1:28 -- "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:
and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air,
and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
The line of Adam seemed to keep what few laws it knew from what had
occurred before... or in this case, using those standards as excuses
4:24 -- "If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy
Men were becoming violent. The need to have standards and laws became
imperative. The covenant God made with Noah is a clear beginning of the
establishing of a standard for civilized behavior amongst men. Part of the
covenant with Noah was for mankind to create laws for men to live by.
In this covenant, God is answering Cain's question
"Am I my brother's keeper?" God is saying, "Yes, you are."
6:18 -- "But with thee will I establish my covenant;"
9:9 -- "And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you and with your
seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you."
9:4 -- "But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof,
you shall not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at
the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man;
at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in
the image of God made he man."
Violence was shown to be abhorent to God... so abhorent that he regretted
making mankind at all. Noah was singled out surely because he had
not chosen violence. The covenant made with Noah was a
milestone in the evolution of the tribe of Adam.
Noah's clear directive was...
that there was to be no violence.
Although Abram had a household with men who were trained to fight,
there is no instance where we read that he ever took anything by force.
When he first entered Canaan, he avoided the Canaanites... even
though he had been given Canaan by the words of God.
12:7 He traveled away from the plains of Northern Canaan
and found nothing but drought. Abram settled far away from the site
where God had first spoken to him to give him the land "before him."
And when Abram rescued Lot and all the people and their belongings,
he was made a hero by the kings of the cities. They offered Abram and
his men a reward... which Abram refused for himself, saying:
14:23 -- "I will not take from a thread, even to a shoelatchet, and that I
will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made
Abram rich: Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the
portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre;
let them take their portion."
Isaac, too, was wealthy and had a large household.
26:13 When Abraham died, the Philistines covered up all
of Abraham's wells. Isaac then set about opening them back up.
26:15-22 As soon as he would reopen a well, the Philistines
came and took it. Isaac moved on again and again... until he reached
a well that the Philistines did not contend for. He then says:
26:22 -- "For now the Lord hath made room for us; and we shall be
fruitful in the land."
It seems most likely that part of the inheritance of being chieftain was
the learning of the skills of business and the acquiring of wisdom.
As chief of the tribe, the inheritor would also serve as judge among the
tribes and their households. This royal designation required that they
be "men of truth" and "men of righteousness." Only this
would assure peace.
There also appears to be a standard among the tribe of Adam... that a
man has only one wife... a wife that he loves. It is always the children
of their love that becomes the inheritor. This is what posed such
a problem with Abraham.
Sarah, his beloved... had no children. In fact... this became the
central issue of his discussions with God... how would he inherit if he
had no children with Sarah? We can very much conclude that
LOVE and one wife... was part of the directive in the line of
the chieftains and judges of the tribe of Adam.
The rule that "the firstborn son inherits" did not apply to this clan.
Although much is made of a cultural tradition of inheriting to the
firstborn, this clan inherited to whomever the reigning head of clan
gave it to. The continuation of the legacy could only be preserved
by the worthy son being named chieftain... not risked by
the haphazard nature of inheriting to the first born.
If you look at the
Chart of the Clan Chiefs
you will see that a father's age when begetting the inheriting son is often
at a progressed age. Thus, it is not likely that the inheritor was a
"firstborn son." It is not always written what other children were born
to the father, but when other sons are mentioned it is not a rule
at all that the inheritor is the firstborn. The term "firstborn" is hardly used.
Jacob institutionalized this procedure of inheritance for all time...
he would pass his blessing to whom he chose.
He named his second-born grandson.